The Relationship Between Stress and Addiction

Stress propels substance use disorders (SUD) at all stages of the disease. It increases your risk of developing a SUD, it negatively reinforces it, and it often is the cause of relapse. Not only does stress contribute to the disorder, but the disorder also causes pathological changes to the stress response circuitry in your brain and increases your vulnerability to stressors. By eliminating stress with NuCalm, you can stop the development of addiction and get back on your feet. NuCalm acts directly on the HPA-axis of the stress response circuitry to inhibit chronic stress and create stress resiliency.

Substance use disorders, or addiction disorders, are diagnosed according to the criteria they meet in the DSM-5 indicating that prolonged use of a psychoactive compound, including nicotine, alcohol, cannabinoids, opioids, depressants, stimulants, and hallucinogens, has led to both behavioral and physical changes that interfere with one’s daily life.

  • Substance misuse is often a negative coping mechanism as it provides an escape from pain or stress
  • Substances are often misused as they provide relief or mood enhancement.
  • The negative and positive reinforcements of using substances propel harmless misuse into consequential abuse and dependency
  • Prolonged substance use changes the brain circuitry of pathways involving response to reward and stress, which causes users to develop behaviors that are more reward-seeking and more vulnerable or sensitive to stressors.
  • Changes in the brain neurocircuitry make it very challenging to quit using and difficult to recover from using substances

Because of this vicious cycle, with stress as the root cause, relapse rates for substance use disorders are close to 40-60%. By targeting stress amidst this whole cycle, one’s risk of developing a substance use disorder (SUD) may be reduced, pathological changes to stress response circuitry may be altered, and relapse may be prevented.

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Battling Addiction with NuCalm

Manage Anxiety

Anxiety and addiction go hand in hand, but with NuCalm, they don’t have to, as NuCalm is clinically proven to help treat addiction.

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With anxiety out of the picture, you lower your risk of developing a SUD, you remove a negative reinforcer of the disease, and you can more easily and openly work through your recovery.

Anxiety can be classified as a disorder when a person is in a state of constant stress, worry, and/or fear to a point where it affects their professional and social lives. Many people with generalized anxiety disorder resort to self-medication with drugs or alcohol as a coping mechanism which often develops into a substance use disorder. Then the addiction disorder further propels the anxiety disorder as the brain’s reward and stress circuitry is being rewired, resulting in a downward spiral. NuCalm can break this cycle by eliminating anxiety and interrupting the stress response at the source in the midbrain. NuCalm can provide a healthy and positive coping mechanism for those struggling with anxiety. When recovering from an addiction disorder, NuCalm also alleviates anxiety during withdrawal to reduce the negative reinforcement that anxiety creates for using substances. NuCalm clears the mind to help individuals face their mental health issues with a better sense of focus, calm, and ease.

Decrease Depression

Co-occuring depression and addiction is one of the most common dual-diagnoses and is difficult to overcome. But NuCalm can help make recovery a reality.

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It wipes away negative emotions by increasing blood flow to the frontal cortex and increasing the production of serotonin, the happy-hormone.

Depression is a psychiatric disorder that most often co-occurs with a substance use disorder. In a similar way to anxiety and addiction, there is a bi-directional relationship between the two disorders, whereby depression leads to substance abuse, and substance use further propels depression. NuCalm is clinically proven to treat anxiety and depression as it cuts acute stress and suspends the body into a parasympathetic state. During a NuCalm session and in a parasympathetic dominant state, there is increased blood flow to the frontal cortex and the production of hormones such as serotonin. With greater blood flow to the frontal cortex, emotions and behavior can be better controlled which are important factors when overcoming depression. Furthermore, an increase in serotonin levels can help elevate mood and energy levels, which is also stunted during depression. A positive attitude and outlook is a huge driver for recovery from depression and substance use disorders. NuCalm can get individuals in the right state of mind to succeed through rehabilitation.

Lower Risk of Addiction

Stress is unavoidable, but allowing stress to manifest into addiction is avoidable.

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NuCalm puts the brakes on stress and serves as a positive coping mechanism in lieu of drugs or alcohol. Using NuCalm to build stress resiliency can lower ones risk of developing a SUD.

NuCalm gives you a positive coping mechanism when faced with difficult or traumatic situations to prevent you from turning to drugs or alcohol for relief of pain or stress. NuCalm allows you to be calm and focused as life throws obstacles and hurdles in your direction. It increases blood flow to the frontal cortex of the brain likely helping you make logical decisions and choose healthy behaviors. There are strong indicators that using NuCalm will build stress resiliency and thus lower your risk of developing a substance use disorder.

Manage Withdrawal

NuCalm can help reduce the symptoms of withdrawal. Not only does it upregulate GABA within the body which may reduce toxic excitation of detox, but it ultimately suspends the body its natural recovery state.

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The symptoms of withdrawal differ depending on the drug being abused but most can manifest in serious physical or mental ways. Acute withdrawal or detoxification from depressants and alcohol for example, swing your body into an overexcited state, to overcompensate for long periods of inhibition, which may cause seizures, nausea, shakes, anxiety and sympathetic nervous dominance. NuCalm activates the GABAergic system or inhibitory nervous system which may reduce the intensity of detox symptoms. Furthermore, NuCalm brings you into parasympathetic dominance to allow your body to stabilize and recover. It will also reduce the anxiety throughout this whole uncomfortable period.

Prime for Other Therapy

Battling addiction requires multifaceted interventions. However, anxiety interferes with certain treatments especially group or talk therapies.

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NuCalm puts patients into a relaxed and calm state so they can focus their energy in the forward direction.

Current treatment for substance use disorders relies heavily on behavioral therapy once the detox is complete. However, not everyone responds well to either cognitive behavioral therapy or group therapy, usually because they are still in a highly anxious state. NuCalm cuts the acute stress response, to allow patients to feel calm and safe enough to lower their guards and respond properly. It also increases blood flow to the brain and may increase neuroplasticity which helps to reconfigure circuitry around reward and stress pathways and prime the brain for behavioral therapy. Continuing treatment is vital to preventing relapse and NuCalm may be the tool to help ensure patients stay on their course of treatment.

Prevent Relapse

The road to recovery doesn’t end after detox. The inability to handle stress post-withdrawal is often the leading cause of relapse.

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NuCalm puts people into a state where their brains can begin to rewire damaged stress circuitry so they can handle stress and avoid relapse.

Stress management is key to treating addiction as it may help reduce symptoms of post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS), such as anxiety, depression, irritability, memory fluctuations, irregular appetite, poor sleep, and energy level fluctuations, and prevent relapse after detox. Despite treatment efforts, relapse rates of substance use disorders are in the 40 to 60 percent range comparable to those of any other chronic illness. Treatment non-compliance and dropout both increase the risk of relapse. NuCalm not only eliminates stress at the midbrain to help reverse a maladaptive stress response brought on by addiction but it also may help improve the response to conjunctive therapies. It allows patients to be present, focused and calm throughout their recovery.

Improve Sleep Quality

It is very likely that some addictions stem from sleep disturbances and others may be causing sleep disturbances.

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NuCalm helps reset our internal clock to improve sleep quality and restore this vital life force of ours.

Sleep is vital for recovery, immune function, and neuroplasticity. Sleep disturbances may possibly be the cause of certain addictions while other addictions are the reason sleep quality dramatically decreases. Recovering addicts may struggle with sleep disorders and not get quality sleep. But, NuCalm can provide a solution to these issues. It resets hormonal levels and circadian rhythms to ensure that the sleep-wake cycle is on track. With consistent NuCalm use, users report better quality sleep and fewer symptoms of daytime fatigue or nighttime restlessness. NuCalm improves sleep quality to allow the body to properly recover.

Rebuild Relationships

Addiction may be one of the most devastating diseases on familial and social relationships. But research has show that a strong support network is vital for recovery.

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Patients and their caregivers should be using NuCalm to navigate and overcome the bumps in a relationship.

Social and familial relationships take terrible blows when someone is suffering from a substance use disorder. However, healthy relationships and social support can greatly increase one’s chances of recovering from a SUD. Using NuCalm increases cognitive function and higher-order thinking to allow people to think more wisely and behave more rationally. If both patients and their caregivers or loved ones use NuCalm, they are more likely to have the tools for a healthy relationship. By eliminating stress and improving sleep quality, one’s mood is also better. And these positive feelings can go a long way in rebuilding relationships and social outlook, as well as helping prevent relapse.

Resources

NuCalm article in Annals of Depressions & Anxiety

You Are Not Alone.

  • The Global Burden of Disease Study, 2010, highlighted that mental health and substance use disorders (SUD) are some of the leading causes of disease burden globally, responsible for 7.4% of disability-adjusted life years and 22.9% of years lived with disability (Murray et al., 2012 and Whiteford et al. 2015).
  • More than 20 million Americans are diagnosed with a substance use disorder and in 2016, drug-related overdoses were greater than 63,600 (Hedegaard et al., 2017).
  • The World Health Organization declared stress the epidemic of the 21st century and is likely a contributor to the increasing number of drug-related deaths and a decreasing average life expectancy in the USA.

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